This paper discusses the problems associated with mineral oil-filled infrastructure in electric power substations and utility customer needs and provides solutions to address potential catastrophic leaks.
Chronic oil leaks are the single most significant problem for most electric power substation infrastructure, primarily transformers. An ongoing leak equivalent to one 500-milliliter water bottle (about 17 oz.) per week can amount to 26,000 liters (more than 6,800 gallons) of oil spilled in one year. Oil leaks present serious maintenance and environmental issues and can be costly. This paper discusses a broad range of problems associated with mineral oil-filled infrastructure in electric power substations and utility customer needs. In addition, it addresses the use of smart secondary oil containment systems to help utilities meet challenges and manage risks inherent in aging transformers.